Skip to main content
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Find everything you need to get certified on Fabric—skills challenges, live sessions, exam prep, role guidance, and more. Get started

Helper I
Helper I

Keep original format strings when using DirectQuery to AS or Power BI datasets

We have a few main models that our team maintains on Power BI service. When using thin report that connects to one of these models using the DirectQuery to AS or Power BI datasets (preview) feature, the format strings on all the measures are all different from original model. 

Some get converted to currency format, others are just whole numbers with no thousands. Most annoyingly, those that had percentage formats are converted to decimal formats. I think it is based on the inferred data type of the measure.

I can manually change them again after the fact, but there are a LOT of measures. Sure would be nice if the original format string was just used by default instead of it defaulting to new ones based on data type.


I also noticed when I open the local model with Tabular Editor there are hidden "Format String" measures, one for each measure in the original model. I don't know what purpose those serve. 

E.g. hidden "format string" measure

EXTERNALMEASURE("_Sales FormatString", CURRENCY, "DirectQuery to AS - Transactions")

visible measure

EXTERNALMEASURE("Sales", CURRENCY, "DirectQuery to AS - Transactions")


Community Support
Community Support

Hi @mattcarter865 ,

Before using DirectQuery for Power BI datasets and Analysis Services, please uncheck the option "Detect column types and headers for unstructured sources" in the Options page. Then restart Power BI Desktop and connect to them. Later check if it can keep the original format...


Best Regards

Community Support Team _ Rena
If this post helps, then please consider Accept it as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly.

Helpful resources

Europe Fabric Conference

Europe’s largest Microsoft Fabric Community Conference

Join the community in Stockholm for expert Microsoft Fabric learning including a very exciting keynote from Arun Ulag, Corporate Vice President, Azure Data.

Power BI Carousel June 2024

Power BI Monthly Update - June 2024

Check out the June 2024 Power BI update to learn about new features.

RTI Forums Carousel3

New forum boards available in Real-Time Intelligence.

Ask questions in Eventhouse and KQL, Eventstream, and Reflex.